Some days it just feels like feudalism is coming back — hereditary nobility, locals banding together for protection, and religion über alles. Either that or the nurse hid my medication again . . .
- The Sunlight Foundation, which broke the Hastert Highway scandal, is putting the grassroots to work: “Citizen Muckrakers have investigated 438 members of Congress, and tentatively found 19 spouses who were paid by a member’s campaign committee — totaling some $637,424 since January 1, 2005.” Bobby Rush and Danny Davis are the Illinoisans on that list. This looks like good news for organized transparency in government, and bad news in what was found. So, is “family” getting more important in politics, or are we just touchier about it? Bear in mind that 1972 was the last presidential election in which neither a Bush nor a Dole was on the Republican Presidential ticket. A Stroger for your thoughts!
- Sam Smith at Undernews picked this up from Jesse Halladay’s USA Today story: “Louisville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis city officials have agreed to offer one another emergency resources in case of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or other catastrophic events. In one of the first agreements of its kind in the nation, the cities have pledged to help each other when a disaster overwhelms one of them.”
- According to law.com, “The Austin-based Republican Party of Texas played the religion card in a Sept. 21 online newsletter. As alleged in the newsletter, Texarkana solo E. Ben Franks, Democratic nominee for a seat on the 6th Court of Appeals, ‘is reported to be a professed atheist’ and apparently believes the Bible is a ‘collection of myths.’ But Franks says he has never professed to be an atheist and is not a member of any atheist organization.”
- In related news, the lobbying group Secular Coalition for America has opened a contest to find the highest elected official in the U.S. who is an atheist, humanist, or freethinker. Nominations are open through the end of the year; the person who nominates the winner will get $1,000. The person who next runs against the winner will get a free pass to public office.